Words and Pictures: Helping create connection, belonging and safety for children and young people in the care system

Words and Pictures workshop

25–26 January 2023

9:00am – 4:00pm PST
Registrations cost CAD$495 + GST

These workshops will be held online via Zoom
Places are extremely limited

Tickets on sale now!

Country: Canada 🇨🇦

Working with vulnerable children requires social workers to engage with many family members and professionals in complex and heart-wrenching circumstances. Social workers may be supporting children to stay at home, to be reunified with their families, or working with those who are in long-term out-of-home care. In all of these circumstances, the safety and healing of the child depends on strengthening their sense of connection and belonging with their family, community and culture, together with the carers they might be living with.

The Words and Pictures methodology is an integral part of safety planning within the Signs of Safety approach to child protection and has other relevant applications in a range of clinical settings. This methodology uses simple words and stick figures to empower parents to explain complex situations to children without creating blame or shame.

Led by experienced and passionate child protection professionals, Pene Turnell and Caara Goddard, licensed Signs of Safety Trainers and Consultants, this 2-day virtual workshop will introduce participants to Words and Pictures, establish its efficacy in guardianship work, and provide opportunities to practice developing Words and Pictures in response to case studies. In this small group environment, participants will benefit from personalized support and build connections with their peers through class discussion and breakout activities.

Caara and Pene are excited to come together for the first time in a public workshop and bring their combined enthusiasm for Words and Pictures which is bound to be inspiring, energizing yet practical and grounded in examples of work they have both been directly involved in.


  • Tickets on sale now.
  • This workshop will be interactive and therefore places are extremely limited for each session.
  • Each participant must register individually and attend using their own computer so they can fully participate in the group and breakout activities.
  • This will be an interactive practice workshop. To help facilitate this, we ask all participants to be on audio and video for the session. Please join from a computer with good internet connectivity (to the best of your ability) with a webcam and use a set of headphones with a microphone. Using headphones with a microphone rather than your computer’s built-in speakers and microphone will improve the quality of your audio and help improve everybody’s experience of the workshop.
  • Workshops are CAD$495 plus GST per person.
  • Once you have successfully registered, you will be sent all the information you need to participate in the Zoom workshop including Zoom meeting ID and password prior to the workshop commencing. If you haven’t received your email with Zoom details by the day of the workshop, please remember to check your Junk folder for these details or contact the facilitators urgently so you don’t miss out!
  • Register your place now by emailing caara.goddard@signsofsafety.net


Pene Turnell

Penelope Turnell has 11 years’ experience as a government child protection practitioner in Western Australia, working predominantly with vulnerable and at-risk children in remote communities. While working as a child protection practitioner, the statutory agency implemented Signs of Safety as its safety planning model. After using the Signs of Safety approach with her own clients and experiencing its effectiveness in her own practice, Pene became a licensed Signs of Safety Trainer and Consultant in 2014.

The focus of Pene’s work is bringing parents, children and safety networks to the centre of safety planning. Pene is passionate about creating Words and Pictures explanations and rigorous safety plans with parents in the most challenging cases and has learnt many of her skills directly from Susie Essex — the English family therapist who created the method.

Caara Goddard

Caara Goddard is a licensed Signs of Safety Trainer and Consultant who has been passionately working in Indigenous Child Welfare systems for 15 years, starting as a front-line social worker, then a leader and now a consultant — working on whole system implementations. During this time her focus has been to move reconciliation into reconcili-action and to support Indigenous Child and Family Service Agencies to work through a more participatory and strengths-based risk assessment and safety planning process within their communities.

A key guiding principle for Signs of Safety is that child protection work can only happen in the presence of strong constructive working relationships and Caara is committed to working and building relationships with agencies, to move child protection and child safety forward in a way that is clear, child centered, and collaborative.